Inns of Court and the world of Barristers.


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As an international student who had little knowledge regarding the culture or purpose of the various Inns of Court, the opportunity to attend the mixed dinner at Gray’s Inn was an invaluable experience. It was an excellent opportunity to network with barristers who are both experienced in the profession or currently undertaking the BPTC. By speaking to various members of Gray’s Inn, I was granted a new perspective of what my future career at the bar will entail and how to best approach the daunting task of obtaining a pupillage.

I also had the opportunity to hear a guest lecture from the esteemed Neil Block QC who discussed his area of practice, clinical negligence. It was quite fortuitous not only in that I had the ability to learn more about the area of law I wish to practice, but also that I got a chance to speak with Neil Block after his talk regarding a moot on medical negligence which was taking place the following day.

Furthermore, it was quite entertaining to learn about some of the unique customs that occur at Gray’s Inn – such as, following Neil’s lecture, the junior member of the inn seated directly across the room from the speaker, must stand on the table and give a speech which he wrote in response to what the speaker has said. I would highly recommend any student who is considering undertaking a career at the bar or is in the process of joining an Inn, to attend a mixed dinner to get acquainted with your future fellows and the unique culture of the place.

– Keegan Adsett-Bowrin is a 3rd year Law student

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!

 

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The importance of getting out of your comfort zone and diving into unknown territories.

Bbc radio 2

I had never really given radio a second thought before I got into journalism. Back home, as soon as someone starts speaking on the radio, we change the channel — radio news and talk radio programs aren’t a big thing. So it was a shock to me when I came to the UK and learned of so many radio programs listened to by so many people, like the Today Programme and 5Live to name a couple. It was an even bigger shock to me when I got work experience for the most listened radio program in the country, the Jeremy Vine Show. I had worked in television before, and I’d done some freelancing in PR, online journalism, and writing articles for print — but I didn’t have the slightest idea where to start when it came to radio.

The two weeks I spent at BBC Radio 2 wasn’t like your usual work experience. I didn’t spend the week making tea and photocopies, or sitting around watching others work — I spent my two weeks at the Jeremy Vine Show doing the same kind of work that was expected from producers on the team. I pitched and helped develop stories, did background research on stories and typed up any relevant info for Jeremy to know on the show — including profiles on celebrities like Prue Leith, whose life story I had already googled months prior thanks to my obsession with the Great

British Bake Off. I was in a work environment with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, but all of the like-minded. From the first day, I got along with everyone so well and enjoyed so much of what I was doing that the long, arduous shifts seemed to breeze by. Amidst jokes about Greggs sausage rolls, laughing with a caller who had a blender from the 1950’s, and taking pictures with the Jeremy Corbyn 2018 annual, we were covering serious issues like Mugabe’s resignation in Zimbabwe and the Argentinian submarine that went missing. And not only was I interacting with all the brilliant journalists in the BBC offices but because the Jeremy Vine Show is a phone-in show, I got to speak to a few incredible callers as well. One woman told me her father had served as Mugabe’s lawyer for years. Another man phoned in and told the story of how having to shower after PE in school gave him years of struggling with anxiety.

I learned so much from not only what I did in those two weeks, but from everyone, I spoke to, and I cannot wait to have the opportunity to go back upon graduating this week.

Oh, and I got to meet James Blunt too, so that was a bonus.

The advice I would give to other students? Do not reject an idea only because you haven’t considered it previously. My work experience at the radio, which was by far one of the best professional experiences I have had, illustrates accurately the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and diving into unknown territories.

– Berni Botto is a 3rd year Journalism and the News Industry student

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!

Journalism work experience thanks to the BKEW bursary

As my MA Journalism degree requires us to study a number of modules involving law, our trip to the House of Commons and the Supreme Court proved to be an insightful experience. Alongside being able to see the day to day and inner workings of the House of Commons, the tour helped to solidify knowledge of various laws and political workings by seeing how they work in practice. For example, seeing how the House of Commons is organised before Prime Minister’s Questions, and how it works in practice proved particularly insightful. Similarly, seeing the House of Lords and how they operate proved equally helpful in solidifying knowledge in how they work.

The visit to the Supreme Court was also very helpful, especially as we were able to sit in on an actual trial that we had recently been following in the news. Not only did it provide a first-hand account of how a Supreme Court case plays out, it also provided insight in what might be expected of a journalist who has been asked to cover a Supreme Court case. All in all it was a very interesting and beneficial day, which has only enhanced my knowledge of journalism law and what is expected of an actual journalist when reporting.

– Daniel Otway is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

The trip to the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court on our class trip to London was very helpful as it further aided my understanding of law. I have a law essay and a law exam coming up within the next couple of months so it gave me insight that I can then put into practice within these tests.

On the trip, we managed to sit in a case taking place at the Supreme Court and got first-hand experience of what happens in such a trial. The case has been well documented in the press and so I was already aware of proceedings going into the trial which made it easier for me to follow and gave me greater understanding of what I was witnessing.

The trip to Parliament was exceptionally interesting as it was somewhere I had never been before. The tour guide gave us a thorough history of the building as well as of the various Members who have sat there throughout the years. It was also very interesting to see the House of Lords in person and see where many life changing decisions have been made.

Overall, the trip helped my understanding of English law and furthered my education on the history of the law itself.

– Grace Gausden is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!

Welcome to the theatre

This work experience bursary not only gave me an insight into the career path I want to take, but also allowed me to spend 3 weeks with the fantastic theatre company, that is Fingersmiths. This theatre company creates unique, bold and incredible pieces of theatre, connecting with audiences through multi-layered approaches to language and physical expression, with the aim to attract new Deaf practitioners, audiences and participators.

Throughout my time, I was luckily enough to work with some incredibly talented actors and director’s who all have experience in theatre, TV and film. I was able to gain an insight into how the theatre company works when rehearsing for their seasonal shows, picking up on some British Sign Language, which enabled me to communicate with the deaf actors, which was a personal goal of mine. I was given the opportunity to shadow both the Company Stage Manager, in which I gained knowledge into all the ‘behind the scene’ preparation that was needed for the show, and the Director, acknowledging what rehearsal styles and techniques were used in order to create a captivating and unique performance.

This internship has now enabled me to come away from Fingersmith’s and given me the passion to research into the accessibility within theatres and find ways of how we can all make ‘theatre for the masses’ and without this bursary none of this would have been possible. This internship has opened my eyes to a new type of theatre, I only vaguely knew about, and this theatre has now become something I want to pursue in my future career.

– George Callcut is a 3rd year Drama and Theatre student

Work experience in Property Law

I found this experience to be extremely valuable in helping me to determine my future legal career path. Prior to undertaking this experience, I was unsure as to whether I wanted to be a barrister or a solicitor. This was my first experience within a solicitor’s firm so it helped me to understand the type of environment I would be working in, as well as the type of work I’d be expected to carry out. This allowed me to draw a comparison with the mini-pupillage I undertook earlier last year. Additionally, the firm I chose specialises solely in Intellectual Property Law which relates to the optional module I chose to study this year. I could therefore apply my existing knowledge and develop a further understanding of this area law in practice.

I sat within the secretary and paralegal department which allowed me to learn the mechanics of the office. On my first day I was introduced to everyone in the office which was effectively a great networking opportunity, particularly as I followed up by making connections via LinkedIn. I was given current case files to read in preparation for client phone calls, where I shadowed Partner’s advising their clients and discussing plans of action. I was also given the task of researching for various cases, for example comparing client and competitor patents in order to establish whether there had been infringement. In addition, I drafted a client’s cease and desist letter from scratch for trademark infringement, which was accepted with very minor amendments.

Overall this experience will prove to be invaluable, particularly as it demonstrates my interest in the field, and will ultimately be a significant addition to my CV when applying for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts this year. The skills I have learned will put me at an advantage when applying for further work experience in the legal field too. Finally, it has cemented my desire to go pursuing a legal career and given me an introductory insight into the profession. I have also made very useful connections, should I decide to pursue a career in Intellectual Property Law specifically.

– Emily Morgan is a 2nd year Law student at the University of Kent

A ‘turtally’ fantastic experience

The Kent Work Experience Bursary gives an opportunity to students to think about work experience in a different way. The world is the smallest its even been thanks to how easy and accessible traveling has become. Nevertheless, flight costs to go abroad still place a heavy burden on students; therefore, receiving a bursary to aid with the costs incurred is a great advantage for students seeking to have a different internship experience from the ones offered at home.

Finding an internship abroad is an exciting process because you find what seems like endless opportunities. In the field of conservation, the Tropics are one of the most interesting and thrilling places to work because of their abundant and diverse levels of biodiversity (over 50% of Earth’s species are found in tropical rainforests alone!). The experience that I gained doing proper field-work research in Malaysia cannot be compared to any other work I’ve done; it gave me a new insight on future careers and in what direction to guide my professional life.

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Mother turtle laying her eggs on one of the beaches. Nest was relocated to Turtle Bay, to avoid it from being poached. A photograph of the facial scutes is taken to add to the dataset of a photo identification software to identify the turtle.

I spent 10 weeks of my summer on Lang Tengah, a 2 km2 island off the coast of Terengganu, in Malaysia. I interned at a small organisation called Lang Tengah Turtle Watch (LTTW) which works to protect sea turtles nesting on the island. There are 7 species of sea turtles, 3 of which can be found in Terengganu. Unfortunately, due to unsustainable fishing practices, turtle egg consumption and detrimental human activities, one of the species is virtually extinct (the Leatherback), and another, the Hawksbill, is on the brink of extinction. LTTW receives volunteers from all around the world each week, and one of my duties on the project’s eco-friendly camp-site was to educate the volunteers on sea turtle ecology, as well as shark ecology, coral ecology and marine pollution.

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Work experience at Accenture

My legal work experience at Accenture, the second biggest technology company in the world, greatly improved my knowledge of the new and innovating technology that the law has not yet accounted for. Thanks to the Kent work experience bursary that allowed me to travel into The City every morning I was able to take up this opportunity and improve my legal research skills as well as legal advocacy skills.  I was given a ‘crash course’ on negotiation by the head of Global compliance as well as completing a presentation on a force majeure clause, checking the legality of it and whether it is suitable for the business clients. During this I received critical feedback taking me out of a law student mindset into actually understanding what works for a business. This was probably the most valuable skill that I learnt during my work experience as it was a skill that you can’t learn at university and would be most applicable to improving my employability. I was able to recognise how to be turn the ‘black letter law’ that I had used at university into something that works for a benefit when essentially they are always looking to solutions to legal problems tin order to save them money.

I also sat on the weekly legal department phone call, taking down minutes that were later used in the director’s meeting. As well as receiving talks from a range of specialised lawyers such as complex contracting, digital business, intellectual property, data privacy and more throughout the week. The intellectual property talk was particularly helpful as I am studying this module this year, so it was interesting to gain an introduction to it as well as see it in practice in a large technology company. The data privacy talk was particularly helpful as it is a current issue with GDPR compliance that is changing and taking effect in Europe next year. It has the potential to have massive effect on businesses by harmonizing data protection across 28 EU member states and the breach fines being of up to €20 million or 4 percent of gross annual turnover. As it was something I did not know much about, but is so pivotal to how law, technology and the protection of it is changing in society. I learnt the potential employability prospects of data privacy as it is high in demand as well as how it applies to all different types of law.

To end the week, we visited the innovation hub and gained an insight into new technology such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, block chain and bitcoin. Getting to use the products, with some that were strictly classified, was really exciting. Overall, I was so lucky to have a group of hard working interns and lawyers so willing to share their experiences!

– Chenelle Olaiya is a 3rd year Law student